I think that most writers these days have their minds turning from time to time to the subject of e-books. It is hard to deny that, knock-knock-knock, the future of the written word is here. Sure, it will take time for things to change over, and the book and printed word won’t ‘die’ for a good many years but the day is coming when books will be harder and harder to find. The fact is that this economy is probably pushing books out of favor faster than anything else.
Love them though we may, books are expensive, expensive to produce and expensive to buy. And in an age where most people believe that reading blogs and texts and tweets makes you well read, well, it doesn’t bode well for the future. As a writer I can attest to the fact that publishers are just not producing as much product as they used to. If you are not an established author, if you are not the next big thing, or if you are not selling a hell of a pitch you are just not getting published. And its a shame, its a shame that so many authors are being lost in the cracks.
Ah, but the internet. The internet opens a lot of doors and offers a lot of new opportunities. Sure, the ‘net isn’t ideal but if you are writing because you love to tell stories then you keep telling your stories. Hell, I know I would love to get published traditionally but the market just isn’t there for short stories and especially for dark short stories. So, I have my blog, I have my books, I have my chapbooks, and I keep working on getting stories out. But there is hope.
With e-books more people will be able to get their work out to the public and, as more people adopt the technology that can read e-book information and relay it, there will be more options for readers and writers. Fiction and Non-Fiction will not die, but it must evolve. The harder part will be figuring revenue for writers and providers that is fair and equitable. I mean, is a story worth less because it is digital and not physical? Hmm, I dunno. I know that we cannot make it too pricey or it will all be lost, at least temporarily.
I am excited for e-books because it is like going from a lake to an ocean – there is just so much to explore. The thing will be that writer’s will have to evolve. They will have to tell more interactive stories, and will have to make sure they are still telling stories worth telling, despite the works not being in print. Print will remain but will be kept for more artistic, classic, famous, or scholastic works. I can imagine that the independent presses that survive will adapt as well and many will find ways to produce some, though not many, print works. Just to stay different.
I love books. I always have. But it is silly to act as if we are not about to push heavily into e-books. It is inevitable. My hope is just that better tools are made to allow us to get more out of books and to at least echo what made books so special in the first place.